Reply To: Wages – when paying the 80% for people away for lockdown do we pay the standard hourly rate or average weekly earnings (52 week average)

Hi Peter

An organisation can claim NZ$7,029.60 for a full time employee and NZ$4,200 for a part time employee (less than 20 hours per week). The total amount is paid out in a lump sum that covers a 12-week period, and there is no longer a cap of NZ$150,000 per organisation.

If an organisation has already applied for, and been granted, the Wage Subsidy for all its employees and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has capped the amount paid, it doesn’t need to do anything further because MSD will top up the difference.

One of the conditions of eligibility for the subsidy is:
The employer must commit to making best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period.

So if you can maintain the terms and conditions previously applied for their payroll would be optimal e.g if they are on an hourly wage, then apply as an hourly wage. If they are salaried and paid weekly, then pay it weekly. When you receive the lump sum you can distribute it according to your regular pay cycle.

If you are paying your employees 80% prior to receiving approval and the funds, you must let your employees know in writing and allow them the opportunity to respond, accept/decline.